This surname originated in BREED Holland and its ancient form of spelling was Brede. The town of Brede, in the county of Sussex, was founded by Hollanders who settled in England at the beginning of the twelfth century. In England the name is variously spelled : Breed, Bread, Breeds and Brede. The first of the name in America wrote his name Bread, but the family shortly afterward adopted the present spelling,—Breed. The principal thoroughfare in Leyden, Holland, is called Brede Street, and London has a Bread Street. The Breeds in America have been positive, determined, persevering and thrifty. It is a well-known fact that Bunker Hill Monument is not located directly on Bunker Hill, but stands upon an eminence in the immediate vicinity called Breed’s Hill, which was named for this family. The misnaming of the battle of Bunker Hill is a pertinent illustration of the inaccuracies of history; the Duke of Wellington once remarked that he could not recognize one of his principal battles by descriptions he had read.
(I) The immigrant ancestor of Charles Webster Breed, of Malone, New York, was Allen Breed, whose birth took place at Westonning, England, in 1601, and who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with Governor Winthrope in 1630, settling in Lynn. A family tradition asserts that prior to his immigration he was wholesale grocer in Liverpool. In the division of town lands in 1638, he received two hundred acres and resided in that part of Lynn which is still known as “Breed’s End.” In 1640 he, with several other inhabitants of Lynn, went to Long Island, New York, and settled the town of Southampton, but he subsequently returned to Lynn, and at a town meeting held December 3o, 1661, he was chosen with others to examine a land claim made by one D. Salmon, a soldier in the Pequot wars. He was subsequently honored by being elected to a seat in the pulpit. His death occurred in Lynn, March 17, 1692. The maiden name of his first wife, whom he married in England, is unknown. March 28, 1656, he married (second) Elizabeth, daughter of William Knight, of Lynn. Children :
- Allen Breed, see below.
- Timothy Breed, born in England in 1628.
- Joseph Breed, born in Lynn in 1632.
- John Breed, born in Lynn in 1634; died June 28, 1678.
(II) Allen (2) Breed, son of Allen (I) Bread, was born in England in 1626, and accompanied his parents to America when four years old. He resided in Lynn and married Mary _______, who died November 3o, 1671. Children:
- Joseph Breed, born February 12, 1658, died November 3, 1713.
- Allen Breed, born August 30, 1660.
- John Breed, January 18, 1663, died, 1701.
- Mary Breed, August 24, 1665.
- Elizabeth Breed, November t, 1667.
- Samuel Breed, September 25, 1669.
(III) Allen Breed (3), second child of Allen (2) and Mary Breed, was born in Lynn, August 30, 1660. He married, May 22, 1684, Elizabeth Ballard. Children:
- Nathaniel Breed, born August 24, 1685.
- Elizabeth Breed, January 24, 1687.
- John Breed, October to, 1689.
- Mary Breed, March 21, 1692.
- Rebecca Breed, January 26, 1694.
- Hepzibah Breed, June 19, 1697.
- Josiah Breed, January 29, 1701.
(IV) John Breed, third child of Allen (3) and Elizabeth (Ballard) Breed, was born in Lynn, October 1o, 1689; died April 17, 1774. He married, January 2, 1717, Lydia Gott, born in Wenham, Massachusetts, in April, 1699; died in August, 1789. Children :
- Allen Breed, born October 26, 1718.
- John Breed, September 13, 172o.
- Nathaniel Breed, July 22, 1728.
- Josiah Breed, December 16, 1731.
- Deliverance Breed, October 17, 1736.
(V) Dr. Nathaniel Breed, third child of John and Lydia ( Gott) Breed, was born July 22, 1728. He entered the medical profession and was practicing at Eastham, Massachusetts, in 1657, but in 166o moved to Sudbury, Massachusetts, whence he removed to Parkersfield (now Nelson, New Hampshire), in 1768. He was probably the first permanent settler there and located in the northerly part of the town. He erected one of the first saw-mills in that locality, and from him Breed’s pond derives its name. His daughter Abigail was the first person baptized in Nelson, and the ceremony was ‘performed by the Rev. Stephen Farrar, of New Ipswich. In April, 1775, he was surgeon of Lieutenant Brown’s company, which marched from Nelson on the Lexington alarm, and later became surgeon’s mate in Colonel Reed’s regiment. The Christian name of his wife was Anne, and his children were:
- Nathaniel Breed, born July 22, 1753.
- Deliverance Breed, May 6, 1755.
- Abigail Breed, May, 1756; died young.
- John Breed, October 15, 1757.
- Thomas K. Breed, April 10, 1761.
- Abigail Breed, June 16, 1769.
- Annie Breed, January 30, 1773.
(VI) Nathaniel Breed (2), eldest child of Dr. Nathaniel (1) and Anne Breed, was born July 22, 1753. He probably resided in Nelson. The baptismal name of his wife was Thankful. Children:
- Nathaniel Breed, born January 26, 1777.
- Lydia Breed, August 2, 1778.
- Martha Breed, March 5, 1780.
- Rufus Breed, April 25, 1784.
- Thankful Breed, May 22, 1786.
- Cyrus Breed, March 25, 1789.
Nathaniel (2) Breed had a second wife, Elizabeth; children :
- Paul Whitcomb Breed, born December 8, 1793;
- Rebecca Breed, December 22, 1796;
- Silas Breed, September 16, 1800.
(VII) Nathaniel Breed (3), eldest child of Nathaniel (2) Breed, was born January 26, 1777. He was a blacksmith by trade, resided for many years in Nelson, New Hampshire, and died in Alstead, New Hampshire, October 10, 1837. He married, December 17, 1799, Nancy Whitney, born in Nelson, April 12, 1777; died March 23, 1859. Children:
- Nathaniel Breed.
- Josiah Breed.
- Nancy Breed, died September 24, 1856.
- Henry Breed, born December 10, 1804; died March, 1837.
- Elmira Breed, born March 29, 1808 ; died May 18, 1864.
- Whitney Breed, April 27, 181o.
- Gilman Breed, October 10, 1813, died February 5, 1880.
- Mary Ann Breed, August 23, 1816; died October 23, 1857.
- Maria Breed, born July 7, 1823.
Nancy (Whitney) Breed was a daughter of Josiah and Anna (Scollay) Whitney, and was a descendant, in the seventh generation of John Whitney, the first of the name in New England. This surname derives its origin from the ancient parish of Whitney in the western confines of Herfordshire, of the border of Wales, which was allotted by William the Conqueror to one of his Norman followers, and the latter’s son and heir adopted it. John Whitney, immigrant, who was presumably a descendant of the original Norman proprietor, was born in England in 1589, arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, settling in Watertown, and his death occurred June, 1673. The Christian name of his first wife, whom he married in England, was Elinor, born in 1599; died in Watertown, May 11, 1659, and on September 29 of the latter year he married (second) Judith Clement. Children : Mary, John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas, Jonathan, Joshua, Caleb and Benjamin.
Richard Whitney, son of John Whitney, was born in England in 1626; accompanied his parents to New England and resided in Watertown. In 165o he married Martha Elder, and his children were: Sarah, Moses, Johannah, Deborah, Rebecca, Richard, Elisha, Ebenezer.
Richard Whitney(2), son of Richard ( 1) and Martha (Elder) Whitney, was born in Watertown, January 13, 166o; settled in Stow, Massachusetts, and died there in December, 1723. He married Elizabeth Sawtelle, February 3, 1668. Children : Richard, Jonathan, Joshua, Hannah, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ruhamah, Hepzibah.
Richard Whitney (3), son of Richard (2) and Elizabeth (Sawtelle) Whitney, was born in Stow in 1694; died there in April, 1775. He married (first) Hannah Whitcomb, and (second) Mrs. Hannah Ayers. The latter was born in 1704, died September, 1775. Children: Richard, Mary, Dorothy, Daniel, Hannah, Elizabeth, Josiah, Sarah.
General Josiah Whitney, son of Richard (3) Whitney, was born in Stow, October 12, 1731. He settled in Harvard, Massachusetts, but later removed to Ashby, Massachusetts. As a colonel in the continental army during the revolutionary war he rendered valuable services in the cause of national independence, was especially active in recruiting re-enforcements which assisted in no small measure in securing the decisive victory at Bennington, and in 1783 he was appointed a brigadier-general. He was a delegate to the convention which ratified the federal constitution and was otherwise prominent in public affairs. September 9, 1751, he married (first) Sarah Farr, born January 19, 1734; died in Harvard, April 21, 1773; in 1774 he married in Harvard (second) Sarah E. Dwelley, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who died in Whitingham, Vermont, February 18, 1817. His children were: Josiah, Elizabeth, Stephen. Sarah, Oliver, Artemas Ward, Dwelley, Susanna, Lemuel, Daniel, John Hancock. Moses Gill and five infants who died unnamed.
Josiah Whitney (2), son of General Josiah (I) Whitney, was born in Harvard, February 25, 1753. He was in the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775, and subsequently participated in the siege of Boston. He settled in Nelson, New Hampshire. January 10, 1776, he was married in Harvard to Anna Scollay, born April 18, 1756; died in Nelson, March 8, 1824. Their children were : Nancy, Sally, Lois, Stephen, Lucy, Josiah, James. Lydia, Scollay, Betsey.
Nancy Whitney, daughter of Josiah (2) and Anna (Scollay) Whitney, married Nathaniel Breed as previously stated. (Stephen Whitney, son of Josiah and Anna (Scollay) Whitney, settled in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he engaged in mercantile business. He married Mary A. Burgess and their son, James S. Whitney, became a general in the Massachusetts militia and was appointed collector of customs at Boston. He married Laurinda Collins and was the father of the Hon. William Collins Whitney, who served as secretary of the navy during President Cleveland’s first administration. )
(VIII) Gilman Breed, fourth son and seventh child of Nathaniel (3) and Nancy (Whitney) Breed, was born in Nelson, October 10, 1813. In early life he learned the tanner’s trade, which he followed for some time in connection with farming, and he later engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes at Lempster, New Hampshire, in company with Judge Alvah Smith, building up an extensive business. He afterward acquired an interest in the Acworth Boot and Shoe Company and became its manager. Early in 1857 he located in Plattsburg, New York, and with A. M. and P. D. Moore established the firm of Moore, Breed & Company, which engaged extensively in the production of footwear. For several years this concern maintained a contract with the state of New York for the labor of the convicts in the Dannemora State Prison. In politics he was originally a Whig and later a Republican. He was a deacon of the Congregational Church. December 20, 1838, he married Abigail Zerviah Webster, born in Alstead, New Hampshire, March 24, 1812; died March 15, 1886. Children :
- Henry Kimball Breed, born October 28, 1839; died December 21, 1843.
- Charles Webster Breed.
- Martha Irene Breed, born January 24, 1846; died March 22, 1850.
- Nancy Ellen Breed, born August 27, 1851; died May 5, 1859.
- George Newton Breed, December 7, 1858, died April 7, 1869.
(IX) Charles Webster Breed, youngest son and only surviving child of Gilman and Abigail Z. (Webster) Breed, was born in New Hampshire, May 19, 1844. His studies in the common schools were supplemented with a course at the Plattsburg Academy, and on October 13, 1861, when but seventeen years old, he enlisted as a private in Company A, Ninety-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, for service in the civil war. Through rapid promotion he succeeded to the command of his company early in 1862, and in 1863 was recommended for the rank of major, but on account of his youth, and the impaired state of his health, resulting from hard service and the responsibilities of his command during the Peninsular campaign, he was compelled to resign his captain’s commission and return to his home. Entering a drug store in Malone, New York, as a clerk, he acquired a good knowledge of that line of trade, and later he engaged in business on his own account in that town, building up an extensive wholesale and retail trade, which he conducted successfully until 1905. During the past forty years Mr. Breed has been a leading spirit in the promotion of nearly every movement instituted for the benefit and improvement of his adopted town. He was one of the organizers and for many years president of the Malone Water Works, which was transferred to the city in 1906; was one of the organizers of Hope Hose Company and for many years chief of the fire department, and while serving in that capacity he introduced the system now in vogue. He also organized the Malone and Park Street Sewer Company, serving as its president for a number of years ; was formerly a trustee of Franklin Academy and is president of the academic board; was also a trustee of the Northern New York Deaf Mute Institute; and is at the present time a director of the People’s Bank. In politics he. is a Republican.
October 6, 1868, Mr. Breed married Everetta Eliza McVickar, born in Malone, December 14, 1848, daughter of William Constable and Eliza Ann (Greeno) McVickar, of New York City. The McVickars, Archibald, John and Nathaniel, who were of the gentry in Ireland, became prominent importers in New York City in the latter half of the eighteenth century. John McVickar was a director of the Bank of New York, a shareholder in the famous Tontine Coffee-house and a vestryman of Trinity Church. He married Ann Moore, daughter of John Moore, a first cousin of Bishop Moore and a sister of Lady Dongan. Among his children was James, who married Everetta Constable, daughter of William Constable, and was the granddaughter of Rev. William Neilson McVickar, D. D., rector of Trinity Church, Philadelphia. Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Breed have had four sons :
- William Constable Breed, mentioned below,
- Lynden Ryder Breed, who died in infancy.
- Harry Gilman Breed, born January 27, 1878 ; died March 2, 1885.
- James McVickar Breed, born May 15, 188o; graduated from Franklin Academy, also from Amherst College, taking a four years’ course in three years and one-half, and from the New York Law School. He is now a member of the firm of Breed, Abbott & Morgan.
- Whitney Allyn Breed, born February 23, 1887; died September 3o, 1888.
(VII) William Constable Breed, eldest son of Charles W. and Everetta E. (McVickar) Breed, was born June 24, 1871, in Malone, New York, where he attended the public schools in early youth. He graduated from Franklin Academy in 1889, and from Amherst College with the degree of A. B. in 1893. He was one of the honor men of his class, and one of the Commencement speakers. He was the .winner of the Hyde prize oration, and one of the Hardy prize debaters. He was business manager of the Amherst Student, a weekly paper issued by the college students, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and of Psi Upsilon. After leaving college he entered the New York Law School, receiving the degree of LL.B. in 1895, and was admitted to the bar the same year. He immediately began practice in New York, and from’19o3 to 1907 was associated with Hobbs. & Gifford, of New York City. In 1907 he became counsel of the receivers of the Murray Hill Bank, and in March, 1898, he organized the firm of Breed & Abbott, his partner being Mr. Henry H. Abbott, a nephew of Charles F. Andrews, for many years chief judge of the court of appeals of this state. Later Mr. George W. Morgan, who was assistant district attorney during Jerome’s first term, joined the firm, which is now known as Breed, Abbott & Morgan, and which has offices in the Mutual Life Building, New York City. Mr. Breed was counsel for the receivers of New York Building & Loan Association, and has given much attention to cases involving banks and corporations. He is among the most industrious members of the New York bar, and his success is the result of capacity coupled with diligent application. His example may well be followed by other young men who are ambitious to succeed. In .the great competition of the metropolis only the tireless worker may hope to rise above obstacles and achieve distinguished success. Mr. Breed is a director of the Irving National Exchange Bank, a member of the Union League and Republican clubs, of the Lotus and Church clubs, the Psi Upsilon and Knollwood Country clubs, the Merchants’ Association of New York, and the Downtown Association. He is a member of the Episcopal church, and an active and earnest Republican, and served as a member of the city committee of the Citizens’ Union in the campaign of 19o8. He married, September 9, 1897, Emma Wise Ryder, born in Vincennes, Indiana, daughter of Edwin and Mary (Wise) Ryder, the former a native of Indiana, of English descent, and the latter a descendant of one of the leading Virginia families. Mr. and Mrs. Breed have two sons, William Constable (2), born February 13, 1904, and one born May 19, 1910.
Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1910.